Journal Article

La mémoire des choses passées: Florimond Robertet, Charles de Rostaing, Henri Chesneau and the place of social narratives in French early modern noble collections

Antonio Urquízar Herrera

in Journal of the History of Collections

Volume 23, issue 1, pages 29-47
Published in print May 2011 | ISSN: 0954-6650
Published online July 2010 | e-ISSN: 1477-8564 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhc/fhq014
La mémoire des choses passées: Florimond Robertet, Charles de Rostaing, Henri Chesneau and the place of social narratives in French early modern noble collections

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This article aims to emphasize the role of social values in the specific shaping of some early modern noble French collections. In order to do so, the example of the seventeenth-century counterfeit of the sixteenth-century inventory of the royal minister Florimond Robertet (c. 1460/66-1527) has been selected as a case-study. Robertet's collection, already lost, was reconstructed in documentary form for his descendant Charles de Rostaing by his secretary Henri Chesneau. This forged description reflected noble interest in the display of lineage through collected objects, the debate about the nobilities of the épée and the robe, and also the place of memory and history in the noble view of collections. These discourses evidence the existence of a particular social (and distinctively noble) understanding of collected items. Furthermore, the role of narratives in the conceptual transformation of simple gatherings of objects into collections is verified.

Journal Article.  10399 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections ; History of Art ; Social and Cultural History

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